Gr And Mlr Lead Comparison

Spec Ops Shooting

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Distance Walk Count Leads Lead

3 mph

by 7s


100 yds





200 yds





300 yds





400 yds





500 yds





600 yds





Can you see why Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett were such fine riflemen? Although my preference is the "counting sevens" technique— which I double for a trotting target and/or halve when it's oblique—you could just as well memorize leads and do the same thing: 1, 2, 3.5, 4.5, 6, and 7. Whatever works best for 3'ou is the most appropriate technique.

Another technique uses a rifle scope's mil dot reticle for very exact moving target compensation, which we've covered extensively in that section; the mil dot technique seems the most appropriate for the Army's M24 Sniper Weapon System and the USMC's M40A3.

Moving Target Firing Techniques

As a former military State Marksmanship Coordinator, I receive the N'RA's excellent monthly competitive marksmanship magazine,

Shooting Sports USA, and absorb its many rips and techniques, some of them from Martin Edmondson, the National Running Target Coach for our Olympic-level U.S. Shooting Team.

As Coach Edmondson notes, the key to engaging a moving target is keeping the rifle firm in a weld with eye and shoulder and pivoting only the waist—or, in our case, leaning slightly into the bipod. Keep body movement as limited as possible. You should have a smooth swing that catches up with the target, slightly passes him enough for the lead, holds for another second, then follows through as the shot's squeezed off.

By following this sequence and swinging up from behind him, your mind will have acquired his pace and speed as your crosshairs overtake him. Then, when you get the right lead, wait another second so it "feels" good, then release the shot and follow it through. Think about how smooth and natural that will feel and how choppy and disconnected it is to try to throw your crosshairs in front of him, figure out his pace, get the right lead, etc.

Much military shooting literature says there are two moving target techniques: "trapping," which has you holding the crosshair stationary and waiting for the approaching target to position itself for the right lead, when you shoot; and "tracking," which has you panning with him, I think the best technique uses aspects of both, as does the swing-from-behind one 1 just detailed.

As distinct techniques, tracking works well at close range where a wide swing is necessary, while trapping traditionally fits best at long range where the field of view is larger and only a tiny pivot is required.

The trapping technique, however, is very suitable for engaging a fleeting runner, which is a man who dashes to cover, pauses out of sight, then suddenly emerges to dash to die next bit of cover. To dust this kind of opponent, anticipate his next cover destination so you can determine where he'll burst forth from his present cover. Trap him by placing your crosshairs at waist-level, about one pace away from the cover. Holding it very steady, let the shot go as soon as there's even the first blur of movement.

And talking about shot release, one of the problems novice snipers have with moving target shooting is jerking the trigger, which is solved with plenty of dry-fire practice between live-fire rounds.

Some rifle instructors recommend increasing the lead—even doubling it—for right-handed shooters engaging targets moving right to left (or the reverse for lefties) due to the body's "narural hesitation" when pivoting this way. While this is a concern for novices, I think the solution is extra practice and dry-fire, not adopting two ways to take the same shot. But whatever works for you is right.

TRAPPING. Hold steady and TRACKING. Swing with allow target to move into correct lead. target to achieve correct lead.

With your rifle zeroed to hit the bottom of the dotted line, the bullet's path "climbs" ever higher as you aim up or down. You must compensate low.

above the bullet's path—but that vertical drop is now causing your round to impact a bit high. Notice how the dashed line is the same length and hangs vertically from your line of sight— just like on flat ground—but there's now a gap between it and the bull's-eye you're aiming at. Remember, the bullet impacts the bottom of the dashed line.

When you raise the angle to 45 degrees, this gap becomes much more apparent. By the time you're aiming at a target 60 degrees up or down, there's a considerable gap between where you're aiming and where your bullet hits. And it's here at 60 degrees that the effect is greatest, because by the time you're shooting straight up—90 degrees—there's no longer any effect since gravity's pulling at the bottom of the bullet and the dashed line is the same as your line of sight.

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